UMass student diagnosed with contagious illness hospitalized

Nearly 40 students were given antiobiotics

The students of UMass Amherst received an email on Wednesday confirming that a fellow student had been hospitalized after being diagnosed with a meningitis-related illness.

Living in such close quarters at a school of over 20,000, this news came as a cause for concern to many.

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Meningitis is an infection of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord) or sepsis (an infection of the blood), which can be fatal if not treated. While not as contagious as the common cold or flu, it can be much more dangerous if left untreated.

The unnamed student is currently being treated at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Nearly 40 students who had contact with the student were given antiobiotics from University health officials, according to WWLP.

UMass Health Services has suggested a few ways to prevent the spread of this illness.

Wash your hands. This is a no brainer, people! Think about how many things you touch a day that other people have touched too.

Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve. Because, well, just don't be gross.

Don't swap spit. I know it's Halloweekend, but please, watch the random hookups for now. Don't share food, drinks or other personal items that contain saliva.

Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread easily this way.

Don't be afraid to contact University Health services if you or anyone you know is experiencing random sickness. You can get in touch with UHS at (413) 577-5000.

Stay sanitary, my friends!

UMass Amherst